Soon, it was time. Tight end Richard Rodgers locked his right arm into Aaron Rodgers’ left, and receiver Randall Cobb linked his left with his quarterback’s right. The chain continued down the sideline, a wall of white trimmed with yellow and green. So it went with the Bears on the other side. Nobody knelt. Uniformed military stood around an American flag so large that it looked like a picture framed by the field. Earlier in the week, Rodgers had asked all fans who planned on attending the game to join the Packers in linking arms. Some did; most didn’t. It was hard to tell if any of the disparities in opinion or scale had been transcended, but after the anthem, the fans cheered what they wanted to cheer. Then Rodgers stalked the sideline, hugging any teammate who wanted a hug. It was a moment before the moment, and for the next few hours, at least, everyone was watching the same game.
But they’ll have one less of them this week. Jordan Matthews, who’s averaging 16.2 yards on 10 catches, is out for thumb surgery. That leaves wide receiver pitifully thin, which means Taylor’s top options appear to be tight end Charles Clay, McCoy out of the backfield and maybe Hall of Famer Andre Reed from about 25 years ago.
The Bengals might be 1-3, but their defense doesn’t appear to be the ideal foil for a short-handed offense. Cincinnati came within about a couple of minutes of pitching a shutout last week at hapless Cleveland in a 31-7 win that suggests their early-season woes might be behind them.
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Game Youth Chris Godwin Jersey With defensive tackle Geno Atkins leading the charge, the Bengals have allowed the fifth-fewest points of any NFL team and are third in the league in sacks with 12.